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Ram 1500 Cat-Back Exhaust: Essential Guide

Shop Ram 1500 Cat-back Exhausts

Owning a Ram 1500 gives you access to a very powerful truck. There are many modifications that can be added to your truck to improve the power but they can be limited if there is not enough air to help the upgrades power through the truck. If you want to get the most out of your build be sure to upgrade your exhaust system to open up your engine's airflow and tap into the power that your Ram has to offer.

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Sound, speed, and improved lifespan; these are some of the advantages of installing a new cat-back exhaust system on your Ram 1500. This type of upgrade is one of the best things you can do for your truck, and is likely one of the most popular upgrades on the market today. You can purchase full exhaust kits but most guys are opting to this upgrade instead. You’ll even notice some big-name manufacturers only offer this type of exhaust system. After following along with some of the benefits to getting this kit you’ll understand why it’s so popular.

American Muscle

Why does your Ram 1500 need a Cat-back Exhaust?

  • Sound 
  • Performance
  • Price
  • Emissions friendly

 As mentioned, upgrading your exhaust makes for better sound and improved performance.  Wider pipes and an aggressive muffler will create a deeper exhaust note.  This alone will make you smile every time you put the pedal down. It’ll also turn heads from all around. 

The wider pipes also help with better airflow. The faster exhaust moves from the engine, the better the performance. You might raise an eyebrow at this because you’re only replacing a portion of the exhaust system after the catalytic converter. But the benefits are many. 

Replacing the full exhaust does have its advantages over the cat-back setup, but it can be quite a bit pricier if it includes the catalytic converters as well as provide some issues with the law. Alternatively, if the cats are deleted the truck cannot pass an emissions inspection.

Ram 1500 trucks, much like most other modern-age vehicles, require a catalytic converter to pass emissions tests. This may not be an issue for some, but if you need your truck to be road worthy and you’re working with a budget a cat-back exhaust is perfect to you.


2.5" Dual Exhaust Rear Exit

Cat-Back Exhaust: Different Types 

There are variances across the offerings of cat-back exhausts on the Ram 1500 market. The first and possibly the most crucial variance is the material used. For the most part, aluminized steel and stainless steel are what you’ll find.

Aluminized steel is treated to last when put up against the elements, but it doesn’t last as long as stainless steel. The decision rests on your preference; the price of stainless steel can be considerably higher. If you keep your Ram out of the harsh weather, or simply do not live in the rust belt, the aluminized steel option shouldn’t present any issues. But if your situation is the exact opposite, and your truck regularly sees snow and salt, stainless steel is worth every penny. 

Other variances aside from the mufflers would be how the system runs underneath the vehicle. Some kits are single-pipe designs, whereas others are split-pipe design. Earlier Rams and some modern Rams arrive from the factory with a single-pipe setup.

Therefore swapping out the old single exhaust to a new single pipe exit is super easy as it follows exactly the same route. Though, switching to dual-exit exhaust is a natural upgrade to make—it will improve performance, sound, and flow marginally.  Later Rams can feature dual-exit exhausts from the factory, and follow the same principles as single exhausts from earlier years. 

There are a few differences for the kits themselves, particularly in dual exhausts for late model Rams. Typical dual exhaust kits for cat-back set ups split into two pipes after the muffler. One pipe will run into the inlet of the muffler and split exit out the rear. A newer design features the exhaust being split right after the cat and exits with two mufflers. This design is closer to a true dual exhaust and sound will be that much better.


3.5" Single Exhaust Side Exit

Exhaust Accessories

Upgrading with a cat-back exhaust will make a massive difference in regards to the trucks sound and performance, but you may be wondering what other things you could be doing to your truck’s exhaust system. If you’re not looking to break the bank you can simply swap to a louder muffler, or if you’re pleased with the cat-back exhaust and want to get an even more aggressive sound, you can opt to install exhaust cut-outs.

These are sometimes referred to as “dumps” as they dump the exhaust before the mufflers are reached making for maximum flow and the most aggressive sound possible. Be warned, though, the neighbors and Johnny Law won’t be too fond of this upgrade.


4" Angle Cut Round Exhaust Tips - Black Ceramic Stainless

Ram  Exhaust Upgrade Combinations

An aftermarket cat-back exhaust system is possibly the most rewarding upgrade you can make to your Ram 1500. The aggressive note alone provides excitement, but when combined with other upgrades, the advantages become even greater.

Maximum airflow on both intake and exhaust is crucial for top performance, and adding a cold-air intake will make a world of difference. Next, think about a computer programmer to finely tune the engine. Giving the engine the tools it needs to move as much air as possible is one thing. But giving the engine the capability to then optimize how that air moves develops another level of high performance.

Of course, one can also choose to purchase the rest of the components needed to replace the entire system; cats included. Catalytic converters in themselves can be restrictive. Upgrading to high-flow cats with a cat-back exhaust is the next logical step for airflow.

If you really want to feel the difference, a set of headers to go along with it will maximize the exhausts ability to flow and give you the snap you’re looking for. The best part? You can make these upgrades in steps, meaning you don’t have to make the upgrades until you have the cash to make it happen. 

Fitment includes: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, BigHorn, HFE, Harvest, Laramie, Limited, LoneStar, LongHorn, OutDoorsman, Night, Rebel, STL, SpecialService, Sport, ST, SSV, TRX, TRX4, Tradesman, PowerWagon, RumbleBee, SRT-10

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